Fall Tomatoes…

Oct 29, 2009

My fall tomatoes are going gangbusters. But for just a tiny bit of late blight on a few of the plants, most are just about as healthy as they can be. The 'Green Zebra' plants are about 7-feet tall right now! Due to cool temps however, fruit is ripening very slowly. Chances are I'll still be picking a lot of green fruit right before our first frost. But that's ok...just means I get to make fried green tomatoes!


'Green Zebra' in the back are dwarfing everyone else...


'Celebrity' plants have a lot of nice fruit on them and some are finally starting to turn a bit yellow..


As usual, 'Golden Mama' plants are absolutely loaded with fruit. They have gotten just a tad bit of late blight, but nothing that's keeping them from producing nicely. I have some Roma's fruiting well also. There is one of my Organic Gardening Test varieties, a saladette type, that is still producing and ripening from the plants I planted in spring. VERY unusual. It's definitely a winner and will be my main pick for the review they publish next year. Can't tell you what it is yet, but it's awesome!

There are 4 comments for this entry

Leave a comment below »

Oct 29, 2009
12:39 pm

Ok, so, my celebrity split so badly I pulled them. and those that didn’t split, had this weird brown stuff all over them. the green zebras seem fine except for a bit of splitting and my golden mamas are also looking ick.

what is going on???? mine don’t look like yours. I fed, didn’t water with the rain, and sprayed a few times with spinosad. what’s up?

Oct 29, 2009
1:10 pm

We’ve been having problems with birds going after ours.  Very aggravating!

Leslie Finical Halleck
Oct 30, 2009
1:52 pm

Ok, in this situation, with the weather we’ve had this fall (went from super hot and dry through mid-Sept. to very wet/rainy for the last 6 weeks) the tomatoes may be splitting due to a big change in growth rate.

When you planted your fall crop of tomatoes in July, they spend a couple of months growing slowing in very hot dry weather. Then all of a sudden it turned cool and wet…so the growth rate of the plants/fruit jumped. Splitting can happen when plants go from lower water intake to higher water intake quickly. The fruits basically burst or split. The lesions created from splitting then allow pathogens to enter the fruit, which can then result in fungal decay, etc.

For the fruit that started setting in August (that would be ripening now) what would have helped is if the plants were being more consistently watered during July/August…thus reducing the gap in growth rate once the rains came on. You probably have some younger fruit on the plants, that set later, that is not split and developing fine. That’s because they set during the cooler rainier time. Make sense?

Spraying spinosad won’t really help that issue. Also, during rainy humid times, late blight can be a problem, although you’ll see those brown spots on the leaves. Sometimes botrytis can also be seen as small spots on the fruits. These are fungal issues and can be treated with an organic fungicide like potassium bicarbonate.

Leslie Finical Halleck
Oct 30, 2009
6:17 pm

Gretchen…it’s usually the squirrels that are my problem! I plant about 10% extra every year because I know they are going to be sacrificial tomatoes! HOWEVER…now that I have chickens, the squirrels don’t seem to stick around in my yard as much as they used to…

Leave a comment

Back to top

Tips in your inbox


Sign up for the E-Newsletter for industry info, gardening trends & tips.